Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sitting on the Edge of Your Seat?

Have you been sitting on the edge of your seat? Well, first let me make an announcement. Last night I texted K20, "Goodnight, K20. Sleep well. I love you." Are you ready for it? She texted back, "Goodnight. Luv U 2."

Hooray! Not only did I get a reply to my text, she said she loves me. So I guess you could say our talk went well after all. Tuesday night I picked her up at her house and drove to the restaurant. I was planning to talk to her in the car in the parking lot after dinner, but when we left the restaurant, the parking lot had filled up. We would have had to have rolled the windows down in this 100 degree heat, so there would have been no privacy.

So I took her to Walgreens. Again, I parked far away from the building where there were no other cars. This is a Walgreens basically in the country. We got into Walgreens and some of her neighbors were in there that I had not seen since I left. The woman waved at me when she came in and I just knew she was going to come over. We paid quickly and left. Wouldn't you know it, they had parked right next to us out of all the empty spots in the parking lot?

So I proceeded to drive her home, and as we approached the lake/park, I said, "I'm just going to pull over her for a second. I have something I want to tell you." I could hear panic in her voice when she said, "What do you want to tell me?"

Well, let me tell you, this conversation did not go as smoothly as the one with K17. I knew it wouldn't, though. K20 and I had a lot more things to talk about and because she hardly talks without being physically poked in the ribs to do so, it was slow going for at least an hour until she was able to spill her guts to me.

I'm pretty sure I covered the major topics that I had discussed with K17 (see post below), minus the part about meeting J. She is nowhere ready to do that. She is really stuck with the whole gay idea. She said, "You know it is wrong; don't you?" I think explaining to her why I raised her the way I did had a big impact on her. I think taking responsibility for all the drinking I did, as well. She said that she feels like she lost her mom four years ago, not a year and a half ago and that we had reversed roles.

She told me stories of things that I would do or say when I was drunk. She said I used to blame a lot of the drinking on my OCD. I asked her if she was ashamed to be seen with me. A woman came over to our table at dinner and started talking to us. We have known her for years. She said she doesn't feel ashamed, just "weird." She said that holidays are hard because afterwards, she, her dad, and her sister get into one car and go one way and I get into a different car and go somewhere else. My therapist once told me that after a traumatic event you have to go through a one to two-year cycle for things to feel less than weird. We have been through two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, etc. You have to see what it's going to be like so you know what to expect the next year.

We talked about how she takes on all the responsibilities in the house and shouldn't, how she has every right to move out, but I know she won't. She just doesn't want to hurt her dad's feelings. She is 20 years old and has a 10:30 p.m. curfew b/c he is afraid he will sleep through the night not knowing if she made it home safely or not.

She asked me if I was happy. I said, yes, about as happy as I will be until I have a relationship with her. I told her about all the times she hurt my feelings, intentional or not. How I not only lost her and her sister, I lost all my friends. She said my "friends" ask about me, but I explained that's not the same thing as being a friend. I told her it was hard to tell if she was intentionally trying to hurt me or if it was just her personality to do/not do things. I suspected that a lot of it was her personality and I was right about that.

I told her how hurt I was to not be allowed to help plan her graduation party and how I could not go as a participant because that would have been wrong having the other mothers plan everythign. I told her how it hurts when she doesn't thank me for gifts, a plane ticket to Florida, flowers on her first day of college. I just want to be acknowledged that I am alive and trying to be a mom. I told her it would be nice to get a "thank you" once in a while, an answer to my text or phone call, even though I know she is not comfortable using the phone. Growing up she would never talk on the phone. When we got her her first cell phone, that's the first time I remember her talking on a phone. It's just not her thing, but like I told her, it's really the only way I have to communicate to her, to tell her I'm thinking about her and love and miss her, that and Facebook or e-mail.

Every time I thought we were done and I mentioned, "Have you said everything you want to say?" she wouldn't answer so I knew she had more stuff inside. Unlike K17, I believe she thinks I am going to hell. I can't fault her for that; that's how she was raised. I offered to let her view "A Fish Out of Water" to get a different perspective on the seven Bible verses that condemn homosexuality. Got no response so far.

I asked her who does she believe goes to Heaven. She said if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died for your sins, and then she added, "and live your life the way Jesus teaches." I told her later in an e-mail that I do live the way Jesus teaches, and that if he has such a problem with me loving J, don't you think he would have at least mentioned homosexuality in the Bible at least once?

I told her that no one took my picture with her at her graduation. The next day this was in my e-mail box. It's a terrible picture of me, 25 lbs heavier, but I will cherish it always.

So when I finally drove her home, I held her, really held her, and she didn't back away this time. She told me that talking to me helped her. I told her we might need to talk about this stuff again sometime. I think things can only get better. And as she gathered her things before exiting the car, I kissed her on the face and said, "I love you, K20," and she replied, "I love you, too."


greg said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm so happy that your relationship is finally on the mend. It must have been so hard for you - really, I can't even begin to imagine. This is only the beginning of many wonderful times to come. You did good. :)

RiverPoet said...

WONDERFUL! I'm so proud of you, B. It isn't easy dealing with the type of situation you're dealing with. You might want to also read (and recommend to the girls) "Stranger at the Gate" by Mel White. He was steeped in the conservative, religious right movement and was a ghost writer for many of its heroes, including Jerry Falwell. Yet he was gay his whole life. Now he's finally living in his truth and is a leader in MCC. It's a fascinating story.

It's hard to do what you did. I learned a lot about making amends through the Celebrate Recovery program, though I'm not a member of that program anymore. Rick Warren compares two men getting married to a man marrying a pizza. You can love a pizza, he says, but marrying it is as ridiculous as a man marrying another man. He has way too much power to be so ignorant.

You are doing your girls a favor. You are teaching them now that what Jesus was about was accepting and loving us in spite of our humanity. He expects we'll be the wonderful, imperfect creatures we know ourselves to be, and he loves us all the more. That's the savior I believe in.

Peace - D